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REPORT BLASTS NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

              REPORT BLASTS NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
    CHICAGO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Following close on the heels of a


national push by the Democratic Party for national health insurance, a Midwest-based policy research group has published a report it says undermines the entire rationale for the idea.
    According to Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute and a co-author of the report, "U.S. spending on health care is actually growing significantly more slowly than in Japan, Italy, and France, and at nearly the same rate as spending by West Germany and Canada.  This despite the fact that these countries have national health insurance. Moreover, the U.S. health care system has dealt with rates of AIDS, teenage pregnancy, homicide, and drug abuse without parallel in other countries."
    To the extent that health care spending in the U.S. is unnecessarily high, the authors of the report find government policies are to blame, among them: favorable tax treatment of employer-provided insurance, Medicare regulations, insurance mandates, liability laws, and occupational licensing.
    "National health insurance does not address any of the real causes of high spending and creates new reasons why spending will increase," says Bast.  "In exchange for empty promises of cost containment, we will see care withheld from the elderly, life-threatening queues for medical procedures, and too little investment in new technology and facilities.
    "The real solution is tax reform, privatization, and deregulation," said Bast.  The report's authors endorse two reform plans being promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a membership organization for state legislators, and the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a think tank based in Dallas.  Both plans limit the tax exclusion for employer-paid insurance, give tax credits to individuals who purchase their own insurance, and create tax-free Medical IRAs.
   Six thousand complimentary copies of the report, titled "Why We Spend Too Much on Health Care," will be distributed to state legislators and opinion leaders.  Public events are scheduled for:
    Washington     Jan. 21-23        Gary Miller, 312-427-3060
    Chicago        Jan. 24           Alejandro Bertuol, 312-427-3060
    Milwaukee      Jan. 27           Mark Greenfield, 414-347-1807
    Detroit        Jan. 28           Thomas Shull, 313-393-1950
    Cleveland      Jan. 29           Peter Thusat, 216-221-1233
    St. Louis      Jan. 30           Emmett McAuliffe, 314-344-1100
    Kansas City    Jan. 31           Bradley Furnish, 816-471-8152
   Call the contact persons listed to schedule interviews with the coauthors.
            -0-       1/17/92
    /CONTACT:  Gary Miller, (o) 312-427-3060, (h) 708-675-5662; Alejandro Bertuol, 312-427-3060;  Mark Greenfield, 414-347-1807; Thomas Shull, 313-393-1950;  Peter Thusat, 216-221-1233;  Emmett McAuliffe, 314-344-1100 on Jan. 30; or Bradley Furnish, 816-471-8152, all for the Heartland Institute/ CO:  Heartland Institute ST:  Illinois IN:  INS SU: SB -- NY009 -- 0848 01/17/92 08:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 17, 1992
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